The Anti-Hasselbeck, now at 10 AM weekdays to save your ever lovin' soul

This is a very good idea VH1 has had here. Very good indeed.

This, boys and girls is your salvation. Your are being saved from the evil Hasselbeck by the exact opposite of her. Smart, funny, cool, and much more attractive Carrie Keagan brings her VH1 morning show Big Morning Buzz Live to the 10 o'clock hour with cohost Jason Dundas (below).

You know this is exactly what you've needed at 10. I know in my market I need something between the Today Show and Access Hollywood Live that doesn't include the Republican automaton who's opinions are pumped into her head each day by the conservative media and the various whining whiners from the pitchfork and torch crowd.

("Yeah, what he said!!!")

Most important, Big Morning Buzz Live is the place to be for live in studio music performances from hot bands like Hot Chelle Rae (right after their American Music Awards for best new artist), Scars on 45, and Willie Nile (who happens to be Carrie's uncle).

There's also plenty of news and features about a whole host of other pop culture topics and 

Big Morning Buzz Live returns tomorrow at 10. Some of you are at work. Use your DVR.


Watch the Spartacus: Vengeance premiere right here, NOW!

I know you're jonesing for some Sparty-related bloodletting (it's been a while) so here you go. Even easier than an iTunes download ... just click and verify your age (because it's intended for mature audiences) and you're off to the races.

Leave a review in the comments section if you like.  Tell me what you think of new Spartacus Liam McIntrye.


My brand new Happy Endings inspired take on TV couples

This theory started bubbling last night while watching Happy Endings and my realizing that I would like to watch Brad and Jane do it but I don't want to watch Temperance Brennan and Seeley Booth from Bones do it.

Yes I think about these things. And yes, I would even watch Brad and Jane do it with the bacon costume. ESPECIALLY with the bacon costume. Mmm, bacon.

So, here's the thing. Just like with someone you're dating your relationships with TV couples changes, goes through stages. Interestingly they are very similar stages and both end with your having an increase in non-physical intimacy that seems to dampen the interest in physical intimacy, or in the case of your fave TV couples, your interest in watching them be physically intimate.

Or I'm detailing my vast psychosexual failings on my TV blog. Nah, that would be crazy.


NBC's Smash pilot episode free at iTunes, here's some kinda non-spoilery comments

Here's the link if you just wanna go watch it yourself. If you don't have iTunes on your typeylooky machine you'll have to download it.

Totes worth it, though. Fun show. Great music. Great musical performances from Megan Hilty (my Glinda from the LA company of Wicked) and Katharine McPhee (don't get me started on the whole "introducing" thing they're doing in the marketing and she's no Streep with the acting but it'll do for now).

Of course much of the show is about the two of them competing for this lead role in the Marilyn Monroe musical written by Debra Messing's and Christian Borle's characters, but frankly I don't care so much about them as I do the two competing for the role. They also both have relationships (husband, new assistant that will probably get slept with my someone soon) and blah blah blah and then there's Anjelica Huston of all things as half of a fictionally divorcing Barry and Fran Weissler with Michael Christofer. Their job seems to be to advance the plot with monetary complications for the principals, kinda like a Broadway version of the McCourts from the LA Dodgers.

If you have any interest at all in sex with men you'll probably wanna do Jack Davenport. The years have been wonderful to the Coupling star (you saw him most recently here in FlashForward two years ago). It's as if they've drenched him in hotness and pushed him out in front of the camera.

I liked it but will it play in Peoria? Dunno. This link will show they haven't reviewed it yet.

See what I did there?

Smash premieres on Monday Feb 6 at 10 pm.

SOPA and PIPA are bad for you, me and the Internet

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.


So Neil Patrick Harris how's the career going since telling the world you're gay??

What's that? The American people have voted you the People's Choice TV comedy actor for the role you play on your hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother? The role of a womanizing attorney who works at a global financial institution?

And ...oh, and is it true that there are rumors that you'll take over hosting the country's number one show, American Idol, from Ryan Seacrest who unlike you is not an out gay man working in the entertainment industry?

And that the movie you starred in this Summer, the family film The Smurfs, grossed over $142 million domestic and OVER $400 MILLION overseas (!!!) ?

Seems like Doogie is defying everyone's expectation. Congratulations.

TCA tweeters -- Michael Patrick King slaughtered, defense of Two Broke Girls racial humor failing

But about those very hackneyed and stereotype-laden jokes on the show it's all okay because as a gay man he knows about bigotry.

Or so I've read.

Half my Twitter feed is at the Television Critics Association presentations in, what, Pasadena? Anyhow, apparently they had some things to say to MP King he of the Sex and the City. Things.

And much more. I've been to these events and I've never witnessed this level of back and forth animosity. Go to Twitter and search the show title or #tca12.

Also, follow all these people on Twitter. They're great.

I'll try to come back with a link to Sepinwall's write-up of this panel.

Update: Just go to Sepinwall's home at HitFix.

Another Update: THIS

As Seen on the Today show -- The Page Turner

I love a good Rube Goldberg-esque viral video.


Video -- Two days and one hour until 30 Rock returns

I've been recording and watching reruns of 30 Rock for the last week in prep for the season premiere. When you see a bunch of episodes at once it really hits you that this is still the best written comedy on TV. It delivers laughs consistently in a way that a lot of single camera shows can't manage. Big laughs, not just smiling nodding stuff like if it was a Showtime "comedy."

(Not that I don't enjoy Nurse Jackie, it's just a different kind of show and, let's face it, not really a comedy.)

Can't wait to hear what happens with the whole Avery in North Korea thing now that Kim is dead. Should be fun to watch. And I gotta believe there will be some service paid to the Republican candidates by Jack Donaghy.

Tina and Jane were on Today this morning talking about the show and also their visits to the St. Luke's Hospital's maternity ward in light of the controversy over the Jay-Z/Beyonce "gift" to the hospital. I haven't seen it yet, I'll watch along with you.


... and Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor ... on Lifetime?

She's already attempted Marilyn, but that was just pics. Now she'll have to move and speak, too. 
Deadline is reporting that Lifetime is talking to Lindsay for a movie about Taylor's marriages to Richard Burton. From what I know about that time in Taylor's life there was a lot of drinking going on.

Lindsay should do just fine ... she's been researching the role since just after Mean Girls came out.

I don't watch anything on Lifetime but I'd watch this. Let's see if it really happens. Lohan is bound to make some unreasonable demand of the producers (like, "I wanna chocolate fountain, but with cocaine instead") that places her employment in jeopardy.

I'd get her a sober living buddy, like Andy Dick.

No Burton cast yet. I'm sure there are a bunch of Welshman to choose from, but I don't ask me who they are.

In other Lohan news, Hollywood.com is reporting that she got a tattoo today that reads "Life Without Regrets."

Is that retroactive?


NBC sitcom Bent: What will they call it in England?

You know, because of the movie called Bent about the two gay concentration camp residents and that bent is a pejorative for gay in the UK.

So, that's a problem for NBC.

Also, they have a guy fronting this show, David Walton, who has be prominent in two other recent failed romantic comedies for the network, 100 Questions and Perfect Couples and they have him playing basically the same character again, a manchild with a marathon pelvis, constant stubble and poor work ethic.

This time, they've at least given him very solid co-stars, Amanda Peet (who was last Jordan McDeere from the failed Aaron Sorkin Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) and Jeffrey Tambor (who will juggle this job with those Arrested Development episodes for Netflix).

If you watch the "trailer" above you see they have nice chemistry and the cast is filled out well with people I don't know (which is great, gives you a chance to suspend that sense of disbelief a little more). It's a good looking show (single camera) and it shows potential.

What I'd love to know is how Walton keeps getting his chance at the plate. I would say he has compromising photos of NBC execs but they're not the same execs as they were for previous shows.

One thing to look forward to here is Joey King (Ramona and Beezus) as the daughter of single mom Peet. Cute kid, not too cute, good li'l actress.

No premiere date yet. Sometime this year, maybe? Let's remember what happened with Walton's other  shows and how they languished on the shelf and take our cues from that.


Downton Abbey Stars McGovern & Bonneville on Sundance in BBC's Freezing

You love them in Downton Abbey. Wanna see them try to make you laugh? BBC Two's Freezing stars your Downton stars Elizabeth McGovern (the only celebrity I've ever seen at the mall -- the mall was the Beverly Center in West Hollywood but it was still a mall) and Hugh Bonneville, he of the "aye, matey" on this last series of Doctor Who.

From the Sundance Channel Website:
Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern star in this three-part British comedy that some UK critics dubbed a "home-grown Curb Your Enthusiasm." Orbiting London's media whorl, Matt (Bonneville), a laid-off book editor, and wife Elizabeth (McGovern), an American actress who finds work scarce in the UK, try to maintain their dignity and lifestyle, while contending with the abrasive and needy intrusions of Leon (Tom Hollander), Elizabeth's agent. In this episode, Elizabeth auditions for a Vincent Gallo film. Simon Curtis directs.
Set your DVR for this Thursday starting at 5:30 eastern for all three parts in a row. I've seen one of these half hours and really enjoyed it, happy that I'll have seen them all now.

Also airs on Jan 21 and Jan 29.


Five "Seasons" in Two Years and a Month

Something to point out today on the occasion of the fifth season premiere of Jersey Shore Thursday at 10 pm: the show premiered in December 2009. That's five "seasons" in 25 months.

Meanwhile, Arrested Development fans will have to subscribe to Netflix to see new episodes of that show, the first since it was canceled in February 2006.

Just sayin'.

Work It on ABC -- A Kind Word About Its Lead, Ben Koldyke

Okay everyone, just stop piling on.

Before you write off everyone involved, remember how much you enjoyed Benjamin Koldyke on Big Love and How I Met Your Mother.

He's solid in both comedy and drama, he writes and directs comedy shorts, he's not bad to look at ... what I'm saying here is don't write off Ben Koldyke.

I kinda get why he took this gig. First of all I'm sure he thought it wouldn't get picked up and a lead role is a lead role. I don't know what else he had on his plate this pilot season but this was a lead and one lead leads to another and I'm sure a payday is a payday no matter where it comes from.

Acting is hard. Getting acting jobs is even harder.

You Big Love fans know what I means about Ben's talent ... you saw that scene where Dale goes to his LDS Church counseling appointment and broke down over his love for Alby. It was heartbreaking to watch. Very moving, a TV moment I will never forget.

I don't think this gig will taint him for long, he's just too talented a guy.

This is for you, Ben Koldyke, and for all the actors on TV we love who every now and then have to take a gig they would rather have not. And so that they know, Ben, here are a couple of your comedy shorts posted below. Cheers, dude.


Movies on Cable You'll Love -- Super, Cedar Rapids, Four Lions

My DVR bounty has shriveled down to almost nothing (thank you network schedules) so I'm scouring the program listings to find stuff to watch and came upon three films that I really enjoyed. And here they are.

Super (Dir. James Gunn, 2010) --  Plays again this Mon night/Tues morning on Showtime, check this link for more airdates. Rainn Wilson is a guy married to Liv Tyler, a former drug addict who ends up being drawn back into that life by the local smarmy heroin dealer played to a T by Kevin Bacon. Wilson's character decides that the bold action he needs to take to get his wife back includes becoming a local superhero; he gets help with that from a comic book store employee (Ellen Page) becoming that Crimson Bolt. She eventually talks him into letting her by his sidekick, Boltie. Not gonna tell you any more about the plot. It is executed very well, surprised me at a few turns and I'm still thinking about how it ended more than two weeks later.

Cedar Rapids (Dir. Miguel Arteta, 2011) -- Plays again tomorrow (1/3) at 12:30 pm on Cinemax, check this link for more airdates. Ed Helms, who also produces on this stars as a small town Iowa insurance salesman whose world is opened wide by a trip to the big city for an annual convention. Ironically, every convention he holds dear is challenged in this film with help from John C. Reilly, Anne Heche and a particularly funny Isiah Whitlock Jr. riffing on his favorite show:

It has so much heart, this film, it's just about beating off the screen by the time it all ends. Helms is pitch perfect.

Four Lions (Dir. Chris Morris, 2010) -- I think I might have caught the last play of this on TV for a while but I imagine it will be back. I didn't think writers Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain (Peep Show) could make me laugh about four inept jihadists in London but they totally did. Read an interview with Morris here to get inside how that got done.

I don't wanna say too much about this one, but I will say there's an Osama Bin Laden joke in here that our President rendered moot. That made me smile. And I laughed a lot.

Here's the trailer.

Catch one of these movies. I would bet one or more of them are also available to Netflix instant, but you can check that yourself.


Happy New Year 2012!

My favorite annual fireworks show, the first big New Year's celebration always comes from Sydney.